Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-12
We visited a new church this past Sunday. We really enjoyed it, and we are planning on returning there for another visit next Sunday.
The scripture I have posted was part of the sermon. One of the most well know chapters that talks about faith. We talk about it a lot as believers. We walk by faith, not by sight (I'm pretty sure it is lyrics to a number of Christian songs, to remind us of this very fact). And though it is great to say that, over and over, sometimes it is hard to do that.
What got me about the sermon though, was when the pastor talked about Sarah & Abraham. She pointed out that everyone around them was having children, and yet they couldn't. And even in their old age, they still had that desire to have children. God had promised them that they would have children. And they had faith that God would fulfill that promise.
But when I decided to re-read Sarah's story, I was reminded that her faith wasn't as strong as we always seem to make it out to be. She actually laughed at God's promise of children because of her age:
Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Genesis 18: 10-12
She laughed! And I mean, can you blame her for laughing? She was well into her 90's. No one biologically was having children at that age. She had come to accept it, and in some ways, I can't help but think that it hurt Sarah when she heard the heavenly visitor say that she would have a child. She didn't have children, her time had already passed. She had watched her friends, family, neighbors, and total strangers grow their family, and God just brought up the sorest point in her life and said it would change! (Honestly, the fact that she laughed showed that she was much better had handling her emotions that I... I might have punched the visitor, or curled into a ball and cried.)
I can relate. Not that God has promised me children, or that I'm 90 and having children that late in life (God, please don't take this a challenge to show Your glory through... I really don't want to be 90 and pregnant). But as I have watched, and continue to watch, many people around me grow their families, I keep thinking about all that I have to do before we will have our own children.
Between figuring out fundraisers, putting out coin jars to collect spare change (which if you are interested in one, please let us know), and saving all the money we can, filling out paperwork, gathering required paperwork, and all the rest of everything that is needed to even start the process, it is hard to remember that by faith we take the steps forward that will hopefully lead us to our children. To have faith that God will fulfill His promises, both the ones we know of and the ones we don't.
This is what I am working on. This is the first step.